There’s a lot more to Illinois than the great city of Chicago. Along with this exciting urban hub there are many natural areas where locals and residents alike enjoy getting outside. With 141 parks it’s no wonder the DNR created the motto, “State Parks, Great Parks” in 2013. This phrase is the title of their initiative to continue improvements on local natural areas with upgraded campgrounds and additional staff to cater to the more than 44 million yearly visitors looking for hiking and camping in Illinois.
People from all over the state – and even outside the country – take the short 1.5-hour drive from Chicago to Starved Rock State Park, where they can hike 13 miles of trails offering elevation gains on wooded pathways along the Illinois River. The 18 canyons serve as great places to spot waterfalls after a rain and families love ending the day with s’mores around the bonfire at the nearby Starved Rock State Park campsites.
Those looking to learn about the state’s heritage while camping in Illinois may head farther south to Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park & Memorial. This 162-acre park is 12 miles southwest of Decatur near Harristown, IL, and features the land where Abraham Lincoln first resided in the state. If you visit be sure to check out the memorials commemorating this important president.
People who want to mountain bike in this Midwestern state will enjoy heading to Palos Park, a forest preserve known for its excellent biking, hiking and equestrian trails that cover over 50 miles of terrain. When it comes to camping in Illinois, this locale offers beautiful facilities at Camp Bullfrog Lake where you can put up a tent next to a lake and hike short or long loops that end up back at your campsite.
If you want to check out the beautiful Lake Michigan drive to Illinois Beach State Park to spend time in the water along the 6.5 miles of sandy shoreline. The park is 4,160 acres offering ample opportunities for hiking, watersports, picnicking, fishing and camping. With The Dyrt, you can be sure to find the best camping in Illinois during your stay in the Prairie State.
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My favorite thing about Jubilee is how quiet it is. The abundant forest, trails and the creek going through the park make this an ideal place to visit during spring and fall. Summer is ok too but may get a bit hot in Central Illinois for my taste. The campsites and campground are very nice. Electric only with water available and a dump station. Great local piece of nature and peace to disconnect and reset.
We recently moved back to the midwest after living in Washington state for 8 years. Time to start exploring! My husband and I had both previously been to New Salem but our children had not. Nor did we know there were hiking trails! The hiking trails are located on the road up the hill directly across from where you turn off of the highway to drive up to the village. There were really no signs to let you know they are there bit once you reach the parking lot all the trails are properly marked and well kept. Definitely worth the visit if you are checking out the other Lincoln sites in Springfield!
Large, quiet campsites that are not too crowded. Near the back you can camp right alongside the river.
Amenities are minimal, there are just port-a-potties for restrooms but they are very clean. There are not a lot of stores in the area (closest is about ~15 minutes) so pack all of your stuff.
Relaxing place to stay!
This is a very popular campground. Lots of big rigs who seem to be staying for quite a while. Our relatives recommended this one since some of their friends use it for "the summer." A very nice, well manicured campground. Though a commercial-style, it does not feel like it. Sites are well spaced. Full trees around the perimeter, but not a lot for shade over the campsites. Water and electrical at every site. Very easy in and out, for any sized rig.
Loved camping her and the fishing was awesome too
I have to admit that I’ve not camped here, but I just downloaded Dyrt and was looking at local sites around where I live and saw this campground posted and felt I needed to be very clear about the conditions here. I’ve driven through, and it’s quite frightening. Just Google the name and read the news articles to get a clear picture of what this place is about. It’s not safe, clean or anyplace someone should camp.
We attempted to camp at Teal Pond with our 30 ft camper but had trouble finding it in the dark. We came back in daylight to find it. It's easily missed. There are only two spots available. The fire rings look frequently used.
A small to medium size camper would probably fit but this site is probably best left for tents and camper vans.